A huge hit each and every time I bake these delicious bars! I would recommend preparing as directed with no substitutes or alterations.
I've waited many months for fresh cranberries to be available to make this. I love these flavors. Because I'm not a big fan of dates, I substituted chopped rehydrated dried apples, (about 1 1/4 C fruit with equal amount of water and some Amaretto). Next time I would just used chopped apples or other fruit. And it needed twice as much cranberries for that tart pop that they can give. I lined my pan with heavy duty foil and greased it. Then I just pulled the whole thing out when I took it out of the oven, and pulled down the sides. That caramel syrup can be hard to get out of the pan if you don't deal with it when you first take it out of the oven. I kept out almost 2 C mix for the topping. I think you could also reduce one of the sugars by at least 1/4 C and still be sweet enough. I'm not sure why the flour is added to the caramel syrup. I will skip that next time. I will definitely make this again. And now that I have crans in the freezer, I can make it anytime.